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Old 01-11-2004, 10:29 PM   #1
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Christian Teenage Marriages

This is a topic that I'm wanting to know more about ...

I know so many people, around my age (20) who already are married, or engaged, and they're all Christians. Well, I am too and I'm neither of these things. But, I digress.

So, it seems like just about everyone from the youth groups I go to are enjoying wedded bliss. I have asked them why they chose to get married so young and the standard response is "we didn't want to wait." Of course I am aware of what it is they don't want to wait for ...

I would think there's more than that though. I myself would not feel like I'm anywhere near old enough to be married and have all those responsibilities, and know that the rest of your life, you're with this person. Most people I know have gotten engaged maybe 3-6 months after they started going out, or even after they met. That just doesn't seem like enough time to make such a huge decision.

My sister is 18, her boyfriend is 19 and he proposed. She didn't say yes (yet) but I have a feeling she is considering it. But she's still a baby! She's been with her boyfriend for about 6 months and I know they get on really well ... but the whole idea of her being married just doesn't feel right.

I just would like to know your ideas about this. Is there a church culture, do you think, that encourages teenagers to get married? Would they be better off waiting? How can you be sure, when you're 19, that you've found the "right" person? Have any of you been in this situation? Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-11-2004, 10:51 PM   #2
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Divorce rates in the states i think are something like 60% now.....

People get married for the wrong reasons, don't know their mate... and don't know themselves.
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Old 01-11-2004, 11:06 PM   #3
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Buffalo, I agree. I'm just about to turn seventeen, and I can't imagine being married in two or three years. Some get married early because they don't want to wait, and why don't they want to wait? For purely selfish motives. They don't even consider the fact that marriage is a lifelong commitment - they're like "oh yes, I'll love this person all my life" but half the time you really have to wonder if they're serious. How can you know after only half a year that you're meant to be with someone forever? I'd be hesitant to marry someone I've known for three years. So in other words, I won't be married until 21 at the earliest, and personally, I'm fine with that. The years from about 13 to 21 are where people grow the most, and so I think it's dangerous to rush into something at 18 or 19 because the person you are at 22 could be quite different. I know the person I was two years ago is nothing like the person I am today.

I think a big part of things is society is, in some ways, really messed up. People aren't necessarily afraid of commitment - they just don't think about it. Things seem to be so geared towards being happy NOW and being fulfilled in the short-term that people don't sit back and look at the big picture. I'm sure this is part of the reason behind young marriages and the high divorce rate.

So yeah, there's my two cents for now.
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Old 01-12-2004, 07:35 PM   #4
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Axver, that's a very wise post for someone your age. I feel that when you decide to make the committment to marriage, you will do the right thing. I have been with my partner since I was 19, and I won't say how many years it's been, but it's been a long, lonnng time. It takes hard work and a level of maturity that some people, no matter how old, never seem to acquire in this age of instant gratification and short attention spans. I'm sure your faith will be a support to you in both the great times and the bad.
A great example of a very early marriage that worked out is ofcourse Bono and Ali's. They married in their early 20s, and their youngest child is now just two. That seems to be a thriving relationship. It can work, but committment and realisitic expectations are essential.
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Old 01-12-2004, 11:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Elvis
Divorce rates in the states i think are something like 60% now.....

People get married for the wrong reasons, don't know their mate... and don't know themselves.

You are so right about that Elvis!
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Old 01-13-2004, 08:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by biff

A great example of a very early marriage that worked out is ofcourse Bono and Ali's. They married in their early 20s, and their youngest child is now just two. That seems to be a thriving relationship. It can work, but committment and realisitic expectations are essential.
Of course, I didn't think of Bono and Ali. Actually a lot of the marriages I know of involve the guy who is 24-25, and the girl who is 18-19. Bono and Ali are the same age aren't they? I don't know if that makes any difference.

Say, one married couple I know, the guy is 26, the girl is 20 (she's my friend from school) and she's still got 1 year of uni left. So he's supporting both of them until she has a job ... except that this year he is planning to go to Bible college. So my girlfriend will have to support them both with her part-time job. To me, I don't really think it's worth it. I would definitely want to have a stable, secure job and some savings to fall back on before I get married. That's partly why I can't really fathom these couples marrying so young, purely because they don't want to wait, because maybe they'd have a better life together if they were a couple of years older and had a better idea of what they want from life.
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Old 01-13-2004, 10:01 PM   #7
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I was 22 and my husband 26 when we married. We've been married for 13 years and still going strong. Marriage can work, no matter what age, if both parties are willing to work at it. If you go into marriage with a "what's in it for me?" attitude, it won't work, no matter if you're 20, 40, 60 or 80.
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Old 01-14-2004, 05:46 PM   #8
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I don't know... i'm 20 but and I'm not thinking of marriage or something like that right now, because I want to grow as an spiritual and artistic person before. aparently is a lovely idea to "grow up" with someone you love, and sometimes it happens in a good way, but I think that is important to grow personaly, with an individual identity, to have something good to give to your love one.

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Old 01-14-2004, 06:29 PM   #9
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A judgment made in haste, is bound to go to waste!!!!
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Old 01-14-2004, 09:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2zoogirl
I don't know... i'm 20 but and I'm not thinking of marriage or something like that right now, because I want to grow as an spiritual and artistic person before.
Good point Zoogirl.
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Old 01-14-2004, 10:00 PM   #11
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Early marriage is not something taught or encouraged in most Christian churches. Some faiths or belief systems do encourage early marriage & starting of families.

One of my employees (age 27) is now engaged to a 19 year old girl - he has known her for less than 3 months. I'd love to tell him to wait and let the relationship grow, but his religion is endorsing the union.
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Old 01-15-2004, 05:46 PM   #12
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I'll tell a true story that may shed some light on *some* people:

I had a friend who was raised in a conservative Christian household, who, by 20, was already being pressured by his parents to get married and have children. After all, it's what you're supposed to do! So he did...and, after having a child with her, realized that he was more attracted to men than women and had a divorce (he's officially "bisexual").

I think my point is (so that people don't take other aspects of that story and run wild):

1) A lot of people are marrying young, out of pressure from their parents and their religion. I find that such pressure is unimaginable, considering the great lengths that St. Paul goes to to point out that Christians are not bound to the same pressures of marriage and procreation that Judaism put on its believers--e.g., being single is just as worthy of God as being married with child.

2) I think it is bad for people to marry so young, because we all remember when we were 20. There is still so much room to grow up for most of us!

I think that both ultimately show how much society really does trivialize marriage, even unintentionally. Pressuring someone to marry seems contrary to its purpose.

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Old 01-16-2004, 07:25 AM   #13
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I will be 29 next month and marriage has only started to cross my mind. I have had a few friends get married (none particularly religious in fact my one friends husband is a card carrying atheist) I still feel like a kid sometimes and I know that I would have in NO way been ready 10 years ago. I have a cousin who got married at 20 she is now 36 with 3 kids. I think in part she married to get out of her house where her father was a bir oppressive.

I would rather be solo than be witht he wrong person although I do long for a relationship that would be so I would want to marry that person.
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Old 01-16-2004, 12:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Early marriage is not something taught or encouraged in most Christian churches. Some faiths or belief systems do encourage early marriage & starting of families.

One of my employees (age 27) is now engaged to a 19 year old girl - he has known her for less than 3 months. I'd love to tell him to wait and let the relationship grow, but his religion is endorsing the union.
An update - my employee told me he was now getting married in April (it was originally scheduled for November). He will be getting married within 6 months of his first meeting this girl.

He has never said "I feel ready for marriage". In fact, he has only said "this is common in our religion". He joined this religion less than 2 years ago.

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Old 01-16-2004, 02:46 PM   #15
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I was speaking to a really great friend of mine over Christmas, her religion heavily encourages marriage at a very young age. They are pretty much taught that it's the most important thing we do in our lives and the reason we're put on this planet. Well she's only 26 and gets huge amounts of grief from her family and friends because they feel she should have at least had her first child already, but she's not even dating anyone at the time. Luckily she has no desire to rush into a decision like this.
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Old 01-22-2004, 01:27 AM   #16
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Re: Christian Teenage Marriages

Quote:
Originally posted by ~*Buffalo*~
I just would like to know your ideas about this. Is there a church culture, do you think, that encourages teenagers to get married? Would they be better off waiting? How can you be sure, when you're 19, that you've found the "right" person? Have any of you been in this situation? Thanks in advance!
Hi, I'm new in this part of the forum, but it's my New Year's Resolution to check out new places.....within Interference.

Anyway, where I go to school EVERYONE is trying to pair off. I go to a smaller, Christian Reformed college in a primarily Dutch CRC community. It's common here for people to be engaged sophomore or junior year, or at least be pearled (promised) by then if they have a boyfriend.

I'm 19 and met by bf last year (freshmen year) here and we've been going out for a year. I wasn't intentionally looking for husband material, I wasn't really interested in finding a bf at all, and he was still going out with another gf of three years when we met...but things change! So yeah, we will probably get married eventually and we live in a community that would encourage it at this age (more for him since he's 22) but I don't really think about it b/c I'm in no rush at all. I'm moving into an off-campus chick pad in June and I'm going to enjoy at least a year of living on my own with all GIRLS and enjoy college and having a boyfriend at the same time. I know my boyfriend is more interested in marriage than I b/c he's older and will graduate this spring, but I don't feel obligated to settle down right away and give up the rest of my social life and the chance to live with my best friends for a while first.

I will insist on waiting, AT LEAST until I'm 21. I like to have all my ducks in a row, so I need to figure out exactly what I want to study and what career I want. I think that at least one person in the couple needs to have a career-like job in order to support them and have a house. I will not get married until we can have a house of our own. So that's my criteria : one or both of the two should be able to support the marriage financially and I MUST have a house! I don't see how 18 or 19 year old couples can meet those criteria. My ideal marriage age (for anyone) would be 22-28.

As for getting married right away b/c having sex before marriage is not right and not wanting to wait....I think that's a pretty rediculous and immature reasoning. Sure, it's hard to wait, but not impossible. As long as there's a mutual agreement to wait until marriage and not feel pressured to have sex before, or get married early b/c of the pressure, there shouldn't be a real problem. I don't feel any pressure at all b/c I have friends who aren't having sex and my boyfriend doesn't pressure me or himself so I'm content with waiting for an indefinite amount of time.
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Old 02-21-2004, 08:46 PM   #17
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Originally posted by Axver
Buffalo, I agree. I'm just about to turn seventeen, and I can't imagine being married in two or three years. Some get married early because they don't want to wait, and why don't they want to wait? For purely selfish motives. They don't even consider the fact that marriage is a lifelong commitment - they're like "oh yes, I'll love this person all my life" but half the time you really have to wonder if they're serious. How can you know after only half a year that you're meant to be with someone forever? I'd be hesitant to marry someone I've known for three years. So in other words, I won't be married until 21 at the earliest, and personally, I'm fine with that. The years from about 13 to 21 are where people grow the most, and so I think it's dangerous to rush into something at 18 or 19 because the person you are at 22 could be quite different. I know the person I was two years ago is nothing like the person I am today.

I think a big part of things is society is, in some ways, really messed up. People aren't necessarily afraid of commitment - they just don't think about it. Things seem to be so geared towards being happy NOW and being fulfilled in the short-term that people don't sit back and look at the big picture. I'm sure this is part of the reason behind young marriages and the high divorce rate.

So yeah, there's my two cents for now.
A friend of mine is like that (she's a believer,too...though her family is *very* conservative). Every guy she meets she thinks she's going to marry. Most of the time it adds alot more drama than nessessary...Her older sis (who's 23 is getting married next month...that's around a normal age I guess. But, she's 19! With the one she was dating awhile ago the subject of how they would raise their children came up! Goodness...) I'll be 20 in July and I could not see getting married so soon. God has instilled in my heart school and career. Guys come third...a very far away third... I think if it was in His will I would have that desire now. I don't. I want to finish school and start my own life. I like being independent. I like being single

Anywho, that's only me
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Old 02-21-2004, 09:02 PM   #18
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When I was a freshman in high school, one of my classmates, age 14, left school to marry a 30 year old man. She was a Mormon and her family encouraged her. I was worried about her and never heard from her again.

But that was extreme. In most cases, I would say, if you're in love GO FOR IT at any age. So you might get divorced, and if you wait another 5 or 10 years you might also get divorced! I had a cousin who got his girlfriend pregnant and they married at 17. They stayed together until their mid 40's when SHE had a midlife crisis and slept with her boss. But how many couples who waited until they were older does this happen to? PLENTY!

I get weary of hearing the old 'you've got your whole life ahead of you!' and "you should have fun!" arguments. Did you ever think if they're really in love, they have fun and have their whole lives ahead of them TOGETHER??!! Just because the decision isn't right for you doesn't mean it wouldn't be for someone else. And if they do break up, at least they tried instead of letting everyone scare them away with what MIGHT happen. Give them a chance, if they both want it and it's not some prearranged middle ages thing.

BTW I got married to my husband when we were both 23, we have 2 teenagers, and we celebrate our 20th anniversary later this year
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Old 02-21-2004, 09:06 PM   #19
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Normal

Another thing, I wonder how many happy lives and good marriages were ruined by well meaning friends and relatives busting up young love. Both of them marry someone else years later, and that doesn't work out. Maybe the young love thing would have and they missed out. I can't count all the stories I've read in the paper about old people, I mean in their 70s and 80s, meeting back up with their first forbidden love after they got old and their other spouses had died, and finally getting hitched, wondering what they missed, full of regrets haunted by what good years they could have had together.

So what I'm saying is, if they're willing, give it a CHANCE. You never know.
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Old 02-22-2004, 03:51 PM   #20
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One of my great-aunts eloped when she was sixteen. Her parents were outraged, but more or less accepted the situation. The marriage worked. They had four children, and stayed happily married until his death. So yes, marriage in very young couples can work. But sometimes it doesn't. It's different for different people. I wouldn't say one should never marry young, because look at my great-aunt. But with other people they should wait. People don't mature at the same age. Some are very mature at sixteen or eighteen, and some people never grow up. Most people are somewhere in between.
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